This week, a chance listen to "One Thing Leads to Another" by the Fixx brought about the erroneous statement from someone that that song was their first hit. Um, no, it wasn't. The album "Reach the Beach" that it came from wasn't even their first.
The reason why this little bit of information sticks in my head so strongly is that the very first video I saw on MTV (I think in November 1981) was the first hit by the Fixx, "Stand or Fall". Great song, interesting video.
It made me ponder why I never bought any of their albums. I liked all their releases. Then I realize that the reason why I never did was that I knew I could see the videos on MTV. Video Killed the Radio Star, indeed.
(btw, that was a very old song in the Suzanne household by the time MTV used it to usher in their new channel!)
Such is what happened to many of those acts that are so strongly identified with the early 80's and the infancy of MTV. In thinking about "Stand or Fall", and wanting to listen (a fix of The Fixx, as it were), I went to the best place on the net to relive those days: You Tube.
Took a tour through The Fixx titles, and found several more great songs by acts that I really, really liked-but never bought a disc of theirs because of MTV. For example, Toto's Africa:
Don't get me wrong. The majority of my disposable income went towards adding to my record collection. However, the addition of MTV to musical alternatives made my buying habits change. Instead of being a pest and calling WLIR's Airline over and over (so much so that I made friends with some of the staff-Don, for one!), I now had a 24 hour television channel that basically had a 50 song play list at any given time.
If it was an act that I liked, and MTV didn't feel they were worthy of airplay, well, I ended up buying the album for my fix (ha ha). However, if the act was in heavy MTV rotation, they moved down the list of stuff to acquire. Joe Jackson? He didn't rate a purchase until I bought my car four years ago! Somehow, his compilation seemed a good stop gap until Ed and the CD collection made it to Florida.
So, what about you? What's the first song you heard on MTV? Do you remember life before it arrived? Finally, do you agree that they sold out but the Who hasn't?